1. Food

Video:Homemade Pastrami

with Chef John Mitzewich

You can take an ordinary corned beef brisket and turn it into delicious pastrami. What normally takes a week, and requires a smoker, can be done in one day if you follow these simple steps.See Transcript

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Transcript:Homemade Pastrami

Hi, I'm Chef John Mitzewich for About.com. Today I'm going to show you how to make homemade pastrami.

Buy a Corned Beef Brisket

What we need is a 5 lb. corned beef. We're going to attempt to do the impossible, we're going to take a corned beef brisket and turn it into a pastrami.

It's the same cut of meat, and it's brined the same way. I think it's going to work, so let's give this a try.

Homemade Pastrami Ingredients

You're going to throw away that spice packet that comes with the corned beef because we're going to make our own.

We're going to trim the corned beef brisket and leave about 1/8 inch of fat on there. And, that's ready to go.

Now here's our spice mix and it's very important:
  • 3 tablespoons coarse black pepper, very integral to the pastrami
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tabelspoons ground coriander. That's really a signature flavor of pastrami
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Combine the Pastrami Spices

So we're going to add our powdered spices to this spice shaker. That's going to let us distribute the spices evenly on both sides.

First the paprika/coriander mixture goes down, then a little sprinkling of our hot pepper flakes, and then the black pepper evenly distributed. I'm going to press it in with a fork so it sticks.

Wrap and Roast the Spiced Corned Beef

Preheat your oven to 240 F. We're going to go with a very slow oven.

We're going to lightly oil some heavy-duty foil, a nice large piece, and fold up all four sides and wrap it into a nice tight package. Then we're going to flip it over, fold a side down on another piece of foil, and wrap and repeat that 5 more times.

So there will be 6 layers of foil. By the way, only the first piece of oil needs to be oiled. You're going to have this tight package, and that beef is going to be encased with all those delicious spices. We're going to slow roast it for 5 hours.

Chill the Homemade Pastrmi

And then, very important, you have to let it cool and chill it overnight. Twenty four hours is even better. Then we're going to unwrap it. I'm going to go fast motion here, since there is so much foil.

What happened during that long slow cooking is that the smoked paprika has simulated the smoking that a normally pastrami gets, and the coriander and black pepper are going to give it that signature pastrami flavor.

Slice or Cook the Homemade Pastrami

Now, there's a couple things you can do. If you don't want it as spicy, you can wipe off the rib and slice it like that.

Or, what I like to do is leave the rub on and put it in a hot oven for 15 minutes at 400F, and that will kind of seal the crust on.

Slice the Homemade Pastrami

Either way, you want to slice it thin. This is really easy to warm up in a sauté pan with a few dips of water, unless it's already hot from the oven. And that's it.

You have what is very, very close to pastrami, and it only took a day. I know we cheated, but it tastes really good. So grab some rye bread, grab some mustard, and most of all, enjoy.

Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the Web at food.about.com.
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